Oligarchy is a type of political system or arrangement in which a small minority of people with great material wealth sustain their holdings through various strategies. An oligarchy is made up of individuals with massive financial assets, disproportionate to the rest of their society, who can be referred to as oligarchs. Oligarchs use systems of wealth defense, ways to protect and extend their assets, either through property defense or income defense, or both. A political economic system that supports an oligarch’s claims to massive and unequal wealth can be considered an oligarchy.


The term oligarchy comes from the ancient Greek words oligos (few), and arkho (to govern). Oligarchies have existed from antiquity, historically recorded from the time of the Greek city-states of the pre-Hellenic era, through ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles